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Painted Brain | About - Painted Brain
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Photojournalism Prep
Details: - Starts: October 22nd and ends December 10th - Time: 2 pm to 5 pm - Runs: 8 Wednesdays Includes: - Stipend: $20 per week - Instructors: Professional Photojournalists from Corbis - Equipment: A Camera - Transportation: Tap Card

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  • Resources for the Press

    About Painted Brain

    • Mission Statement
    • Painted Brain is a peer-driven media and outreach campaign created by young adults with mental illness. Our mission is to eradicate the stigma of mental illness, foster thriving social relationships and to create a community of young adults.
    • We are a collection of artists, musicians, poets and writers working on reducing stigma of mental illness and creating a postive community through creative expression.
    • Painted Brain is a world without stigma where young adults come together in the common cause of art and community.
    • Bio of Dave Leon, founder/director
      • Dave Leon, Painted Brain founder and director
      • Dave Leon is the founder and director of Painted Brain, which was formalized under that name in 2005 and published its first magazine in 2006. Painted Brain is an expression of Dave's personal political philosophy of liberalism and acceptance of difference, and the belief in the importance of collaborative creative efforts. Dave is a musician, primarily of classical music, having played for almost 20 years and practicing up to six hours a week. He also plays hiphop drum beats, often during Painted Brain's Friday jam sessions.
    • Bio of Billy Douglas, PB News Editor
      • Billy Bang Douglas is a freelance writer from New York City, where he was a member of the editorial staff of Newsweek Magazine for five years. He lived in London, England before coming to Los Angeles in 1990, and as a recording artist for several record labels, he's toured the United States, Canada, UK, and Japan. A recovering drug addict who suffers from depression, he's been clean and sober for six years, and is currently the editor-in-chief of Painted Brain News. He resides in Los Angeles with his wife, Naomi Barrett.

    About Our Community Members

    • Jesus
      • Jesus
      • Jesus has been involved with Painted Brain for about five years. To him, Painted Brain represents an accomplishment, an opportunity, and freedom of artistic expression. Jesus leads a popular weekly art group devoted to calligraphy, stenciling and color design. Jesus first joined Painted Brain as an art group member, until PB director Dave Leon suggested he lead a group of his own and so the student became the teacher!
    • Raffi
      • Raffi
      • Raffi has been part of Painted Brain for more than four years, and to him Painted Brain means the world. PB has allowed him to develop into what he always wanted and desired to be as an artist. In his work, Raffi deals with feelings, emotions and mental health in the form of visual art shaped by his experiences. Raffi participates in almost every activity held at Painted Brain.
    • Larry Rozner
      • Larry Rozner
      • Larry has been involved with Painted Brain since the beginning, for about ten years now. To Larry, Painted Brain means a place to create art and express his ideas in a way that he probably would not have been able to do otherwise. Larry is Painted Brain's Peer Illustrator and creates graphic illustrations, paintings and comics. Painted Brain has been the place to allow Larry to get his artistic career further off the ground.
    • Tristan
      • Tristan Scremin
      • Tristan has been a member of the Painted Brain community since the end of 2012. Tristan creates abstract art that doesn't fit a particular style because he is self-taught. His art often has to do with spontaneity and originality and it avoids repetitiveness while themes still arise intuitively. He finds Painted Brain to be a community and a place to get support and find a lot of inspiration. It provides him with the opportunity to work together with other artists in a place where they can feel very at home and accepted.
    • James Giaquinto
      • James
      • James followed a long and winding road to reach the Painted Brain where his talents as a musician, artist, and writer are utilized for this awesome and involved community of artists, and he is a frequent contributor to Painted Brain News.
    • Ashley
      • Ashley
      • Ashley joined the Painted Brain community through our first photojournalism program in the fall of 2014. Ashley is a photographer and an athlete, playing sports like basketball. To her Painted Brain means making connections that are unbiased, and having a voice and a community that makes your voice louder.
    • Thomas
      • Thomas
      • Thomas has been a Painted Brain community member for ten years. He does freestyle poetry and rap music, and often joins the Friday jam session to freestyle rhymes. Thomas sees Painted Brain as a place to find communion and make friends, as well as to work to prove that people with mental health issues can have a voice.
    • Amer
      • Amer
      • Amer has been in the Painted Brain community for nine or ten years. He creates pop art, in the form of metal and clay sculpture, multimedia art and poetry. Amer believes that Painted Brain is a motivational, inspiring place to find yourself through the arts, and he is thankful to everyone who makes it possible for him to feel a part of the community.

    Interview topics

    • Mental illness and art: Musician and actor Oscar Levant joked “There's a fine line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line.” Throughout history there are examples of artists  whose work has been colored by mental illness.

    • Dealing with life's challenges: Over the course of their lives, most people will struggle with negative mental health symptoms. These symptoms can actually be harnessed toward beneficial outcomes.

    • Just as social media has blurred the boundaries between “professional” and “novice” artists, the boundaries between mental health and illness are more permeable than is often assumed.

    Interview questions

    • How is Painted Brain different from other communities for people with mental illness?
    • How does the Painted Brain project intersectwith your own life?
    • Why do people connect with the unique comunity that Painted Brain provides?
  • Resources for Artists

    Do you need mental health support?

    • If you are experiencing a current emergency, call 9-1-1 immediately.
    • The Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health Access Center Crisis Hotline is always open 24/7 at 1-800-854-7771.
    • The National Alliance on Mental Illness – Westside Los Angeles has a directory of local Crisis Hotlines and Hospitals here:
    • Project Return Peer Support Network (PRPSN) offers services including self-help groups and Los Angeles County's first after-hours telephone Warm Line for people living with mental health issues. They have two toll-free numbers available Monday through Friday from 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm: (888) 448-9777 for English speakers and (888) 448-4055 for Spanish speakers. Visit their website for other services and an events calendar organized by region: 
    • Worried about recent changes in thoughts or feelings? Pacific Clinics Learning to Improve Family Engagement (L.I.F.E.) Program supports young adults 16-25 who are experiencing these symptoms. See flyer (link to flyer B)
    • Los Angeles County Mental/Behavioral Health has an Outreach Programs Directory. See a listing of available programsh here:

    Looking for something fun to do?

    Looking for more art related resources?

    • The Los Angeles Art Association (LAAA) is a non-profit arts organization committed to championing creativity and innovation by supporting, nurturing and developing emerging artists. View their resource center online at:http://www.laaa.org/members/resources.html
    • The LA Art and Culture Guide is a guide to art shows, events, galleries, museums and art classes in Los Angeles and the vicinity:
    • LACMA's Education programs provide opportunities for audiences of all ages to explore works of art:

    Are you a teen or young adult?

    • 16-25 years old? Need a job, a place to study or something to eat? Consider visiting  Youth Moving On Resource Center, Pasadena.  or flyer (link to flyer A).
    • Homeless and foster youth aged 12-17 and transitional aged youth up to 21 can get services from Los Angeles Youth Network: Hope and Homes for Foster and Homeless Youth (LAYN).  See their website for details:
    • For homeless youth in Venice Beach, Safe Place for Youth (SPY) has a drop-in center with services and case management on Tuesday and Thursday as well as weekly street outreach.  For schedule and details see:
    • The Place of South Pasadena is a teen center that is open three afternoons a week during which time teens can drop-in and access a variety of activities that appeal to them. For information go to: 

    Are you LGBTQ?

    • The LGBTQ Center of Long Beach has numerous Social and Support Groups. Information can be found here:here:
    • The entire LGBT community is provided a social safety net by The Los Angeles LGBT Center. The L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center provides services and programs in five buildings. For more details click here: 
  • Resources for Mental Health Professionals

  • Wall of Fame

    Check out what else our community has to offer

    • The LGBTQ Center of Long Beach has numerous Social and Support Groups. Information can be found here:here:
    • The entire LGBT community is provided a social safety net by The Los Angeles LGBT Center. The L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center provides services and programs in five buildings. For more details click here: 


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